OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rumors are flying that some allies of President Joe Biden have suggested replacing Vice President Kamala Harris. The mainstream media has begun pushing this narrative of infighting and a potential 2024 shake-up on the Democratic ticket.
In a scathing piece published by The Hill, Douglas MacKinnon suggested that Democrats could be “in a world of hurt” if they don’t “look beyond the current occupants of the White House.”
“About two months ago, I wrote an article suggesting that President Biden should replace his vice president, Kamala Harris, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and then resign, to give Democrats a better chance at retaining the White House in 2024. Though of course it was not a game plan that Biden would ever entertain, my intent was to ignite a discussion on the viability of a ticket led by either Biden or Harris going forward. And my point still stands: When it comes to picking a presidential ticket for 2024, many people believe — including some liberals — the Democratic Party could be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t look beyond the current occupants of the White House,” wrote MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant.
“Some Democrats have told me they don’t think either Biden or Harris would give their party the best chance in the next election. More than that, several worry that Democrats will have a dilemma if they try to move away from Harris, since she is the first woman and first person of color to be elected vice president — a special place in American history,” he added.
This narrative is starting to take hold in the mainstream media with 2024 around the corner.
In a similar piece published by Slate titled, “If Biden Runs Again, He Should Pick a New VP,” Christina Cauterucci noted how “we are stuck with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris” for now but that Biden may be able to “change that” going into 2024.
Capitol Weekly ran a story titled, “Memo to Democrats: Beware of Kamala Harris, in 2024 or beyond,” where Democrat strategist Garry South detailed, “Despite her obvious intelligence, Harris just isn’t very good, I’m sorry to say, either as a candidate or communicator. When it comes to Harris and 2024 – or beyond — Democrats would be wise to bear in mind the old time-honored caution, caveat emptor.”
The Atlantic published a report titled, “20 Reader Ideas for Who Could Replace Biden,” where the outlet compiled a list of potential lawmakers who could replace Biden.
A survey from Rasmussen Reports noted: “Most voters don’t want President Joe Biden to seek reelection, but also don’t want to see Vice President Kamala Harris or former President Donald Trump run in 2024.”
Only 33% of “likely voters” said Biden should run for re-election in 2024, while 55% say Biden should not seek a second term in the White House.
A recent poll from Morning Consult found that if Biden didn’t run in 2024, Harris is losing support among Democrats.
Politico also published a report months ago claiming that “chatter has picked up” about whether Biden will run again in 2024 and if he does, will Harris be his running mate.
In an explosive story last month from New York Magazine, titled, “There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right? Inside the 2024 soul-searching that’s happening in every corner of the Democratic Party,” author Gabriel Debenedetti discusses how Democrats are facing a reckoning.
Late last year, a CNN report alleged that White House insiders paint a picture of total chaos and discontent between Biden and Harris.
“Kamala Harris is a leader but is not being put in positions to lead,” a top Democratic donor said. “[Biden] should be putting her in positions to succeed, as opposed to putting weights on her. If you did give her the ability to step up and help her lead, it would strengthen you and strengthen the party.”
“That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it,” CNN reported.
“She’s perceived to be in such a weak position that top Democrats in and outside of Washington have begun to speculate privately, asking each other why the White House has allowed her to become so hobbled in the public consciousness, at least as they see it,” the report said. “Republicans and right-wing media turned Harris into a political target from the moment she was picked for the ticket. And implicit racism and sexism have been constant.”
Team Harris is also not happy with Biden and the supposed “positions” they have put her in since taking office.
Princeton professor Julian Zelizer spoke to The Hill and said that younger Democratic leaders “will heighten the conversations about Biden’s age.”
“It means that his age will be amplified, the contrast with younger Democrats more pronounced, all of which will fuel the conversations about what should he do in 2024,” Zelizer said. “That said, he can use the moment to position himself as a voice of experience, wisdom, and reason —someone with the best chops to handle reelection and the challenges of a second term.”